Places of worship can reopen for individual prayer from June 15

Places of worship will be allowed to open for individual prayer from next week Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Places of worship will be allowed to open for individual prayer from next week Picture: GETTY IMAGES/iSTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Government has announced that place of worship will be able to reopen for individual prayer from June 15.

Under the new rules individuals will be able to pray at their places of worship but any communal pray, worship or devotion such as services, evensong, informal prayer meetings, Mass, Jummah or Kirtan will not be allowed.

Baptisms, weddings and other meetings and class will also not be permitted.

The final decision on whether to reopen, however, will remain with the place of worship which can decide to remain closed if it wishes.

Guidance will be published to ensure the reopenings can take place safely and are done in line with social distancing.

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This will recommend the thorough cleaning of shared spaces, hand cleansing at entry and exit and asking worshippers to bring their own items such as a prayer mat or religious text instead of sharing or using communal ones.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said:“Ensuring places of worship can open again, beginning with individual prayer has been my priority. Their contribution to the common good of our country is clear, as places of solace, comfort, stability and dignity. And the need for them is all the greater as we weather the uncertainties of the pandemic.

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“I’m pleased this can now happen from 15 June.

“As Communities Secretary I have worked with faith leaders and representatives to prepare guidance that ensures this can be done safely.

“People of all faiths have shown enormous patience and forbearance, unable to mark Easter, Passover, Ramadan or Vaisakhi with friends and family in the traditional way.

“As we control the virus, we are now able to move forwards with a limited, but important return to houses of worship.”

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